The Down and Dirty: Chronic Illness and Depression


Having a Chronic Illness is a full time job.  You devote all of your time to it whether you realize it or not.   You could be at work and there it is right behind your shoulder, wrapping presents and it’s in your head.  You could be cuddling your sick child, and still, it’s right there.  Like I said, it’s a full time job.

Luckily for me my disease is almost in remission, my Crohns isn’t as active as it has been in the past.  The inflammation is centered mostly around a Fistula, so the majority of my pain is a result of that.  I’m lucky to not be spending my days in the bathroom anymore, and I can usually maintain a healthy weight.

However, because of that, the fact that I’m not stuck in the bathroom all day anymore I feel like I don’t have the right to talk about how much I hurt because I’ve been so much worse.  I feel like I should just shut up about it, and as usual I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to about it (short of my fellow Crohnies on Twitter).  I feel like people will look at me and think I’m making too much of a big deal about it.

Frankly?  I’m exhausted.  I’m tired of my joints hurting to the point of creating a limp, prohibiting me from doing the things I want to.  I’m tired of the exhaustion, I can barely keep my eyes open anymore.  I’m tired of all of it.  I am.  This stupid body of mine is making it impossible to be the Mom I want to be, the girlfriend the boy deserves, and the friend people expect.  Now that I have an every-day-run-of-the-mill-cold, I’m so wiped out I want to cry.

I’m here on lunch damn near in tears.

Welp folks, guess what.  I’m overwhelmed.  I’m stressed.  I’m sick.

I’m depressed.

I have been for a few weeks now.  Hence the lack of writing lately.

I typically get a touch of seasonal depression anyways so I was trying to wait it out, but it’s not that.

So now the question is, what do I do?

I don’t have insurance, so therapy is out, much more tailored therapy.  I don’t know.  All I do know is that I feel like crap.  My body hurts.  I want to go home and go to bed.


8 thoughts on “The Down and Dirty: Chronic Illness and Depression

  1. Amanda Winski

    I completely understand your midway Crohn’s symptom frustration. My intestines too have been acting decently the past couple months. Only in the bathroom twice a day (altho those 2 times a day are exhausting and painful due to my strictures, SO happy I don’t have to deal with it more often). I also have the frustration of a fistula. What sucks about mine is it’s pretty much inoperable. Every surgeon and GI dr has told me to leave it alone since it’s “clean” and not causing much pain or infection. I’m still struggling with my weight, but my energy has been decent…so “I can’t really complain.” Doesn’t it suck to feel like you HAVE to say that when you have SO much more than any other person you know to complain about???? But the truth is, it’s nothing compared to what we’ve gone through in the past…so somehow complaining about the “smaller” things seems ungrateful for the lack of more severe, life-sucking symptoms. At least that’s how I feel. I still get by on a regimen of extreme optimism and being grateful for all the things that are right and ok in my life. As well as some memory suppression and denial I’m sure. Robert was trying to be conversational yesterday (which I was extremely happy about, he sucks at initiating random convos lol). And he said, What was your biggest surprise in 2011? I answered getting him to move to Austin…but unfortunately, to answer that question, I had to think through everything that happened in 2011. I just burst into tears after answering. Of course, he looked at me fearful and puzzled and was like “What’s wrong??” I answered, “I just hate 2011. It’s sucked so much.” But then I continued on and dried my tears and became my usual go-to optimistic self and proclaimed how much hope I had for 2012 and that things seemed to really be looking up. It’s hard though. I know you know. So hard.

  2. Kristen

    I don’t know what Crohn’s is like, and I don’t know what your life is like. I don’t know how you feel or why you feel how you do or if there is anything anybody can say or do to help. But I know that I love you, and I know that lots of other people do too, and I know that you are hands down the strongest person I have ever met. (And for the record, that is an observation, not a demand — you need to break down once in awhile just like the rest of us, and that doesn’t make you a failure.) I don’t know what else to say except that I am thinking about you and I hope you have a turn for the better soon, in whatever way you need one.

  3. Aliesha

    Oh, hon. I hate to know that you’re hurting. I struggle with depression too, and I hate medication, and I hate therapy, and I hatehatehate that hopeless feeling. But this is not about me, it’s about you. Sweetie, you’re not alone. Time and distance, schmistance. Text me anytime. Love, Aliesha

  4. I am so sorry. My hope is you find a path that works for you. We all bare burdens. Some are certainly worse than others. However, what we all must do is work within those burdens. That means finding our own way and blazing a trail that works for us. If you set yourself against the standard of a person without Crohns, you will fail. You must establish a standard that works for you. Life sucks when we fail to match up to the model we have established. So, establish a different model.

  5. Sarah, sending something via email that may be of use to you. I hate that the body is cooperating in one way, but the effects are being felt two fold in another. You are so strong but you need to know that isn’t enough. We bend, but hopefully not break in the process shedding our tears of frustration, pain and fear. You are so special I wish for you whatever that heals your need. Do not be afraid to take something for the pain. I was given ultram, generic tramadol. Without insurance at Wal Mart it is $8.00 a month at least here. It is not the usual pain killer making you woozy or sleepy, just takes the joint pain away. I have a knee that is like a 90 year old’s, and fortunately I’m not that old yet. Wishing you joy, peace, health and happiness.

Reply, do it, you know you want to!

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